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Chinese Exhibition to Wow Russia
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China will bring its largest-ever overseas exhibition to Russia this week with nearly 200 large companies showcasing their latest products in Moscow in a bid to allow the bilateral economic dimension to follow its burgeoning political peer.

The exhibition is part of the "Year of China in Russia," which features 200 cultural, tourism and business events.

President Hu Jintao, who will arrive in Moscow today for a three-day state visit, will attend the opening ceremony of "Year of China" upon arrival and the national exhibition the next day. His visit will bring fruitful harvests for both countries' business delegations with up to US$4 billion in deals set to be sealed during the visit.

The exhibition will present developments in almost all aspects of China's economic achievements in the past decades, ranging from aerospace technology to traditional products such as tea and silk.

Vice Commerce Minister Yu Guangzhou has labeled the fair as a major step toward achieving the US$60-80 billion annual trade target to be reached by 2010, as set by Hu and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The year 2006 marked US$33.4 billion in bilateral trade, up 14.7 percent year-on-year. 

"We are quite optimistic about the Russian market and will give it high priority in our overseas development strategy," said Zhu Hongying, a manager with Aigo, a brand affiliated to IT giant Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology Co Ltd.

Aigo will have a pavilion showing their products such as MP4 players, digital cameras and digital data storage devices. With the company's increased competitiveness and sales network, Zhu revealed that Aigo forecast a 20 percent sales hike in Russia.

Alexy Davidovich Reznikov, an agent for Chinese trucks and cars such as those from Dongfeng and Hafei, views the exhibition as a perfect opportunity for Russians to discover Chinese products.

"It is expected to have a far-reaching influence on the Russian market and we hope to have more such exchanges," he said.

Since Beijing and Moscow set aside their last dispute in 2004 after agreeing on their 4,300-km border demarcation, no major political obstacles are hindering economic and trade cooperation, according to Xu Tao, deputy director of the Institute of Russian Studies affiliated to the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

Xu stressed that these national year activities stood out from ordinary cultural events since they foster respect and understanding between the two peoples. 

"Only when people truly understand each other's culture will they be able to dispel doubts and enmity," he noted.

Russian Ambassador to China Sergei Razov echoed this feeling, saying earlier that the purpose of the national years in China and Russia was to deepen mutual understanding of the domestic situation and people's lives.

(China Daily March 26, 2007)

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